The Most Beautiful Village in the World
The Most Beautiful Village in the World

The Most Beautiful Village in the World


Yamo's Village Series


39 Pages, 10.75 x 8.5

Formats: Hardcover Picture Book

Hardcover Picture Book, $17.99 (US $17.99) (CA $23.99)

Publication Date: September 2018

ISBN 9781940842257

Price: $17.99


A moving portrait of family life in South/Central Asia that illustrates moments of beauty and moments of war

A young boy, Yamo, lives in the Afghan village of Paghman. The peaceful village is surrounded by the bounty of nature. Fruit trees burst into bloom in the spring, and in the summer, Yamo's whole family joins in harvesting apricots, plums, and cherries—breaking into song as they pick. This year, for the first time, Yamo goes to the market in town to sell their harvest with his father. He is filling in for his older brother, who is off fighting in the war. After they have sold their fruit, his father uses the income to buy a white baby lamb. Readers will feel experience the deep love of the family, enjoy the breathtaking beauty of the landscape, and vivid activities at the town market. Then on the final page, readers will be stunned to learn: "This winter, my village was destroyed by the war, and now it's all gone." This book, the first of three in the Yamo's Village series, leads the young reader to think in real terms about the meaning of war and its impact. And they understand that there used to be many beautiful villages in Afghanistan.


"Author/illustrator Kobayashi's vivid and colorful illustrations, together with detailed descriptions, effectively convey the lively nature of the village... The ending is abrupt, but details in both text and illustrations provide some foreshadowing without blunting the shock. A sweet story with an ending that too many children will know." —Kirkus Reviews

"Mainstream sources of information don't provide many ways for us to visualize Afghanistan as anything other than a dusty, war-ravaged place of despair. And while there may be some truth to that, there is another side to this country and its people, which Kobayashi is intent on portraying in this first book of the Yamo's Village series." —Amina Chaudhri, Booklist  

"Readers follow them on their journey through the countryside and into town, taking in the beauty of the land as depicted in Kobayashi's intricate, detailed, and brightly colored spreads... The final wording, on a spread with no art, is stark and sudden: 'In the winter, the village was destroyed in the war. It no longer exists.' It's a reality for many children the world over and will be eye-opening for many American children." —Julie Danielson,

Author Biography

Yutaka Kobayashi is a Nihonga (Japanese-style paintings) artist and picture book author. In 1983, he received a Special Excellence Award in the Ueno Royal Museum Grand Prize Exhibition. He was a frequent visitor to the Islamic countries of Asia and the Middle East from the 1970s to the early 1980s, and the main themes of his works reflect those visits.